For most of this year I have had a goal to improve my fitness and health. I like the higher energy levels that come with better physical fitness, and that's important when you work with children all day. I am also just sick and tired of being...sick and tired (I wish I could take credit for coming up with that, but I definitely took that from others who said it first). So much in my life needed to change at the beginning of the year. My health has been near the top of the list of improvements needed, and I've already made some significant strides in this arena, but I recently received a whole new motivation to put in my arsenal: a weight loss challenge at work.
This year one of my campuses (in case I haven't mentioned it, I teach) is having a weight loss competition for the fall semester. I've never participated in one of these before, but the concept is pretty simple. Everyone who participates pays in for part of the prize money, and whoever loses the most wins all the money. It started about two weeks ago, but I haven't exactly been diligent about doing anything for it. Which is somewhat surprising, seeing as I'm normally a fairly competitive person who likes to get a head start early and then just keep it. I'm not particularly overweight or anything, but like most people, I could use some trimming up. Since I'm going to trim up anyway, I might as well try to win some money too, right?
But unlike most of my colleagues - I DO have a plan. :-D It involves 3 things: hooping, yoga, and a diet (sort of). The hooping and yoga are pretty self explanatory - you just have to get moving to get trim, and these are two of my favorites in terms of exercises. They are both fun and relaxing - total stress busters. They also get bonus points from me for their ease of location and equipment. Equipment needed: yoga instruction book (currently going through the Yoga Bootcamp Box by Baron Baptiste), adult sized hula hoop (mine is from hoopnotica.com), and plenty of open space (found on my deck at home). Neither one requires huge time commitments either. You can hoop to a single song for a few minutes, or have a whole playlist and melt away 600 calories in an hour. Sometimes I select a few yoga poses to gain focus or flexibility in a few spare minutes between classes, and sometimes at home I go through a longer sequence that takes 20 minutes to an hour. So whether I have 5 minutes or 30, whether I'm at home or at school, I'm totally good to go!
Regarding diet...diet is such a touchy subject, and I don't personally like the word diet. It feels so negative. I know it is just semantics, but I prefer to think of having a nutrition plan. It's a diet. I know it's a diet. But I like plans and I don't like diets, so allow me my delusion on this one. So my nutrition plan is great because it is EASY. The downside is that it gets a bit repetitive if I'm not careful. I'm following the USANA Reset program, which translates to me drinking their Nutrimeal shakes for at least 2 of my meals per day and making sure I remember to take the nutritional supplements daily until I reach my goal. During the school year this is easy to accomplish because it makes breakfast and lunch really effortless to make. :-D It is also easy not to cheat because I'm actively teaching most of the day and not tempted to snack on anything not with me. I usually carry a baggie of Triscuits or carrots for an after school snack on the way home. Then I only have to worry about what to do for dinner (my downfall). The shakes are pretty tasty, and the Reset program does work! The last time I did this, including the hooping, I lost 12 pounds in a month, and I've kept it off.
So that's the plan: hoop, yoga, Reset. Now all I have to do is consistently execute the plan until I reach my goal. That's the hard part, but as my first clarinet lessons teacher constantly told me, "Consistency is the key, Amber! Consistency is the KEY!! To everything!" She was right, in more ways than I ever would have guessed back in high school. When tackling goals, Consistency is the Key. I haven't forgotten.
Time to get to it!